Ocean Science Journal

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 355–368 | Cite as

Variability in Particle Mixing Rates in Sediments with Polymetallic Nodules in the Equatorial Eastern Pacific as Determined from Measurements of Excess 210Pb

  • Kiseong HyeongEmail author
  • Inah Seo
  • Hyun-Bok Lee
  • Chan Min Yoo
  • Sang-Bum Chi
  • In Kwon Um
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Deep Seabed Mining Resources


Radionuclide activities of 210Pb and 226Ra were measured to determine bioturbation coefficients (Db) in seven sediment cores from the Korean licensed block for polymetallic nodules in the Clarion–Clipperton Fracture Zone. Variability in Db is considered in the context of the sedimentological, geochemical, and geotechnical properties of the sediments. Db values in the studied cores were estimated using a steady-state diffusion model and varied over a wide range from 1.1 to 293 cm2/yr with corresponding mixing depths (L) of 26 to 144 cm. When excepting for spurious results obtained from cores where diffusive mixing does not apply, Db values range from 1.1 to 9.0 cm2/yr with corresponding mixing depths (L) of 26 to 63 cm. Such wide variability in Db and L values is exceptional in sites with water depths of ∼5000 m and is attributed in this study to an uneven distribution of sediment layers with different shear strengths and total organic carbon (TOC) contents, caused by erosion events. The studied cores can be grouped into two categories based on lithologic associations: layers with high maximum shear strength (MSS) and low TOC content, showing a narrow range of Db values (1.1–9.0 cm2/yr); and layers with low MSS and high TOC content, yielding much higher Db values of over 30 cm2/yr. The distribution of different lithologies, and the resultant spatial variability in MSS and labile organic matter content, controls the presence and maximum burrowing depth of infauna by affecting their mobility and the availability of food. This study provides a unique case showing that shear strength, which relates to the degree of sediment consolidation, might be an important factor in controlling rates of bioturbation and sediment mixing depths.


bioturbation coefficient polymetallic nodule Clarion-Clipperton Zone excess Pb-210 


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Copyright information

© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiseong Hyeong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Inah Seo
    • 1
  • Hyun-Bok Lee
    • 2
  • Chan Min Yoo
    • 1
  • Sang-Bum Chi
    • 1
  • In Kwon Um
    • 3
  1. 1.Deep-sea and Seabed Mineral Resources Research CenterKIOSTBusanKorea
  2. 2.Department of Business ConsultingDaejeon UniversityDaejeonKorea
  3. 3.Petroleum and Marine DivisionKorea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral ResourcesDaejeonKorea

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